mid-13c., "stroke, force," from sweep (v.). Meaning "act of sweeping" is from 1550s. From 1670s as "range, extent of a continued motion." In reference to police or military actions, it is attested from 1837. Sense of "a winning of all the tricks in a card game" is from 1814 (see sweepstakes); extended to other sports by 1960. Meaning "rapid survey or inspection" is from 1966. As a shortened form of chimney-sweeper, first attested 1796.
early 14c., "make clean by sweeping with a broom;" mid-14c., "perform the act of sweeping," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a past tense form of Middle English swope "sweep," from Old English swapan "to sweep" (transitive & intransitive); see swoop (v.), or perhaps from a Scandinavian source. Related: Swept; sweeping.
From late 14c. as "hasten, rush, move swiftly and strongly;" also "collect by sweeping." From c. 1400 in transitive sense "drive quickly, impel, move or carry forward by force;" mid-15c. as "clear (something) away." Meaning "win all the events" is 1960, American English. Sense of "pass systematically over in search of something" is from 1966. To sweep (someone) off (his or her) feet "affect with infatuation" is from 1913.
"that which is up," 1530s, from up (adv.). Phrase on the up-(and-up) "honest, straightforward" first attested 1863, American English.
Old English up, uppe, from Proto-Germanic *upp- "up" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon up "up, upward," Old Norse upp; Danish, Dutch op; Old High German uf, German auf "up"; Gothic iup "up, upward," uf "on, upon, under;" Old High German oba, German ob "over, above, on, upon"), from PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over."
As a preposition, "to a higher place" from c. 1500; also "along, through" (1510s), "toward" (1590s). Often used elliptically for go up, come up, rise up, etc. Up the river "in jail" first recorded 1891, originally in reference to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson from New York City. To drive someone up the wall (1951) is from the notion of the behavior of lunatics or caged animals. Insulting retort up yours (scil. ass) is attested by late 19c.
prefix with various senses, from Old English up (adv.), corresponding to similar prefixes in other Germanic languages.
1550s, "to drive and catch (swans)," from up (adv.). Intransitive meaning "get up, rise to one's feet" (as in up and leave) is recorded from 1640s. Sense of "to move upward" is recorded from 1737. Meaning "increase" (as in up the price of oil) is attested from 1915. Compare Old English verb uppian "to rise up, swell." Related: Upped; upping. Upping block, used for mounting or dismounting horses, carriages, etc., is attested from 1796 (earlier was horsing-block, 1660s).
c. 1300, "dwelling inland or upland," from up (adv.). Meaning "going up" is from 1784. From 1815 as "excited, exhilarated, happy," hence "enthusiastic, optimistic." Up-and-coming "promising" is from 1848. Musical up-tempo (adj.) is recorded from 1948.